CMJ NEW MUSIC MONTHLY
YEAR AFTER YEAR
Despite any presumptions stemming from its name, Idaho is a duo from the hills above Los Angeles, giving the band rare perspective on the contradictions of that terrain, both horrifically industrial and indescribably beautiful. Add that to the members’ backgrounds-Jeff Martin’s secure middle-class youth contrasted with John Berry’s more “Hollywood” past (son of TV actor Ken Berry, had a nasty heroin habit, etc.)-and you have a menu description that only hints at the unique qualities of Idaho. Mixing contemplative baritone with unforgiving guitar feedback, Idaho wraps up love and despair, elegance and emptiness in one package. That puts the band in league with more than a few, including Red House Painters and 90% of the Drag City label’s slacker rock, but Idaho sets itself apart with structure, melody and finesse. Following close upon The Palms E.P. and the single “Skyscrape” the full-length Year After Year is an enveloping soundscape, though its length could bring on intense mood changes. Be warned.